Page 1206 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 24 March 2009

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people lose jobs, which is when the impact of a recession is felt in the community. I am not saying there are not impacts of the global economic situation and its impact here—

Mr Seselja: Oh, okay.

Mr Smyth: Oh, so it’s the global doing it.

MS GALLAGHER: Have you guys got your heads in the sand or something? Have you not seen what is happening around the world? Have you not listened to what the IMF, the World Bank and the US Reserve are saying?

Mr Seselja: Are you responsible for anything that goes on here, Katy?

MS GALLAGHER: If we take your line and your interjections, you are trying to run the line that the ACT government is responsible for the global financial recession. Taken to its point, that is the argument that these people over here are running. I have answered the question. With respect to the impact on the community—that is, householders, and even businesses to this point—I would say that there has not been a noticeable impact of a technical recession. I am not saying that they won’t come. I think we are in for challenging times, and the challenge to the opposition is to start working with us to deliver, stop harping on the sideline, stop pointing the finger and stop blaming. The only idea that you can come up with to deal with the recession, the technical recession, is to cut the stationery budget. Well done, Mr Smyth! And guess what? We are going to start with you. In the budget, we are going to have a special line that says “Liberals’ stationery” and it is going to have a big negative next to it.

Education—special needs

MR SPEAKER: I call Ms Porter.

Mr Hanson: A real recession buster.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Ms Porter has the floor.

MS PORTER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. My question, through you, is to the Minister for Education and Training. Would the minister advise the Assembly of the steps the government is taking to further improve the provision of education of children with special needs in ACT public schools?

MR BARR: With pleasure. I thank Ms Porter for her question and for her ongoing interest—

Mr Coe: Ten points for getting her to ask it.

MR BARR: I must say that it was unusual that Mr Doszpot broke from the herd and actually asked a question on his portfolio. All credit to Mr Doszpot for having the power within the Liberal Party room to break ranks from the strategy that must be oh so carefully crafted by the Leader of the Opposition’s office. It is a devastating strategy.

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